I was fortunate enough to speak with Nawal last week on the show and after seeing her and her band perform live as part of the 2011 Madison World Music Festival, I have to say that she reaches out to embrace, through her music and words but it is the undeniable meaning performing these prayers that stands out to me. When she and her bandmates sing/chant/utter/ “Shalom”, the very wish for peace leap out of me onto the universe. Through the instrumentation from her Indian Ocean roots consisting maGically of gambusi, flute, mbira, and daf; Nawal invites us into her dream of a peaceful world. The music caresses the soul and embraces the spirit. Thoughts and words disappear, and make way for meditation, introspection and inner peace. It is then and that I shared with you. Thank you for getting it. As a Muslim-born African woman who does not always adhere to traditional socio-religious codes, Nawal has faced many challenges in her career, yet she remains strong in her message and philosophy. Descending from the grand Sufi marabout of Comoros, El-Maarouf (1852-1904), Nawal invariably stays with the light of Islam founded upon love, respect and peace. In her music, she sings in favor of all humans, for education and for union. It is within our discussion that I realized she is a liGht, a person to follow…..I hope you’ll join me in paying attention to what she pours from her cup.
Nawal, singer/songwriter, lead vocals, gambusi, guitar
Claudine François, piano, vocals
Aurore Voahangy Coriton, vocals, percussion
JB Gbadoe, percussion, vocals